To hear or not to hear?

Most people with a hearing loss are unaware they even have a problem with hearing or are too embarrassed to admit it. The most common symptom is believing that the ones we are communicating with have the problem. Either “they do not speak clearly” or “not loud enough” is the most common excuse used by people with a hearing loss. In most cases, the hearing loss is painless and gradual, so many people do not notice it. However, the greater issue at hand is that the people around you are suffering with you and your hearing loss. It is not arguable that the hearing impaired have a lesser quality of life in general.

As your hearing diminishes, so do the relationships around you. Social settings are avoided, loved ones become frustrated, and most importantly, the overall miscomprehension of words leaves the listener feeling detached from the conversation. The National Council on Aging states 71 percent of people who wear a hearing instrument report an overall improvement in life. The first step toward getting help, is realizing you, or a loved one, might have a hearing loss. In which case, a simple hearing evaluation can show just what is going on inside those ears. Remember, our ears help us do more than just listen.

Entirely separate from the hearing organs (the eardrum and the cochlea), two sensory organs in the inner ear detect orientation and movement. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute states: “When people get older, the hair cells in the cochlea start to die, resulting in hearing loss. It appears that the loss of the balance information from the inner ear is the main reason why so many elderly people fall and break their hips and other bones.” The Better Hearing Institute found that 95 percent of people with a hearing loss can be helped with today’s advanced hearing aids. If this article has interested you in learning more, call Professional Hearing Health Centers at (815) 964-3131 for a free hearing evaluation and consultation.

Professional Hearing Health Centers is a hearing care practice that has been in operation since 1952. They provide hearing help and rehabilitation to adults and senior citizens who are hearing impaired.

From the Jan. 3-9, 2007, issue

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